It can be a sobering thought for someone of my age to think that you have already lived on this earth for more years than you are likely to have left. Not that I’m being morbid because this should really only serve to remind one to appreciate life, and to be positive about the days and years ahead.
I was in reflective mood after attending the wonderful Impartial Reporter Celebration of Sport on Friday evening. My thanks to editor Sarah Saunderson and deputy Mark Conway for inviting me; not being directly involved this year allowed me to relax and enjoy the event, but also to fully appreciate what a fantastic array of talent we have in this part of the world.
There’s talent of all ages and over so many different sports, but I especially enjoyed the fact that young people in the county are achieving incredible things and are dedicated, disciplined and inspirational.
I stopped to chat to a few of the wee Ballinamallard under 11s, all trickied up for the occasion and I just loved their enthusiasm for football as they told me about the teams they’ve beaten and the goals they’ve scored. Keep that love of the game, lads. 
I also chatted young Conall Corrigan, who won the disability award; what a lovely young man with impeccable manners.
There were plenty of young people to impress on the night, not least when the irrepressible Graham Little interviewed them. And it’s not just in the sporting arena either. I constantly marvel at how superb our young people are across sport, academia, charity work, church, community work and so on. 
I’m not suggesting there aren’t any bad kids out there; of course there are, but the vast majority of our young people should give us a real glow of hope for the future. 
The young people attending on Friday evening were given some very good advice by Barry McGuigan, who recalled his humble beginnings before he went on the achieve so much in life. 
Our glass really is half full, at least, and getting better every day in everything you do is great advice for young people.
As I reflected on all this positivity, though, I wondered if the older generations are creating a society which will allow our young people to thrive and reach their undoubted potential.
For a start, it’s a modern day world in which violence is increasingly portrayed in the media. I find myself watching less and less television nowadays; perhaps it’s an age thing. But how many times do we now hear programmes introduced with a warning about something, usually violence, that may offend? There’s a series on Saturday nights called Hard Sun, which has an interesting concept about the authorities keeping secret the impending certain destruction of the world. But the violence is brutal.
Even the soaps are at it; the interminable Pat Phelan storyline in Coronation Street has become boring. The show now has a serial killer on the rampage, a teenage girl working in a sleazy nightclub with minders who beat someone senseless and a gay vicar recovering from an attempt to kill him. 
All on one street, eh? A lot of television seems to be a choice between bloody violence or some reality nonsense. Please tell me who watches Dancing on Ice? I suppose somebody must.
At the week-end I also watched a discussion in which pornography was not only defended and justified, but was claimed to be normal and virtuous. This in a world where we wonder why our young people are trapped into being vulnerable to online predators.
Never mind the big picture of mixed messages of violence and perversion, though, I wonder if we are providing our youngsters with a better civic society. What are our politicians doing to create jobs for our young people, or our people of any age? Their priorities seem to be all sorts of other things, instead of building a better and more prosperous society.
I wrote last week about the money swilling around, most of it going into greedy hands while we can’t afford important public spending. Then I read that in Northern Ireland, there are hundreds of schools where budgets are nowhere near enough to provide many of the basics that are needed. So we end up with teachers buying materials out of their own pockets, and indeed many teachers being made redundant.
It’s often said we don’t value our nurses, among other public sector workers; and we should also highlight our many good teachers. Note, good teachers. 
In many cases, good teachers are great role models for our kids and as well as imparting knowledge of academic subjects, they provide children with an example of social skills needed for a better world. Yet these are the very type of people we can’t afford.
In today’s world, our young people face many challenges; more families rely on foodbanks, we put exam pressures on very young children such as those who faced a transfer test trauma last week-end, we have to constantly monitor what they are exposed to on television and the internet and the danger of alcohol and drugs is all too real.
And if they manage to get through their teenage years, it’s a real battle to get into the world of work.
Is it all doom and gloom, then?
Well, no. 
On Friday night, I also saw some examples of many fine adults who give up their time voluntarily to work with young people. The coaches and managers of youth teams, and indeed the volunteers who spend hours raising funds, washing kits and doing all they can to allow young people to enjoy their sport. 
Let’s not forget, too, the many parents and family members who get up early and drive to all sorts of places to further the enjoyment of our young sportspeople who really do punch above their weight when it comes to  winning titles at provincial, national and international level.
Our young people are confident, talented and want a society where they are valued and their identities are respected and acknowledged.
I just think sometimes they deserve better than some in the older generations give them.